Jump to content

Special K

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Special K

  1. if you liked Mayle's book(thank you it is now on my list to read) try his French lessons: adventures with knife, fork and corkscrew or Acquired tastes. ← Thanks - I have 'em all. And instead of the Fussel, next I read "Found Meals of the Lost Generation: Recipes and Anecdotes from 1920s Paris" by Suzanne Rodriguez-Hunter. What a wonderful combination of two of my greatest interests! Now I'm reading a "snack" paperback - "Murder Most Frothy, A Coffee-House Mystery" by Cleo Coyle. Fun! Fussel really is next up, though.
  2. Yep, that's it. People would (and did) definitely walk off with the individual grinders. Restauranteurs have had to turn the application of pepper into a "service." I forget who it was, but I remember some comedian a few years ago calling the pepper-grinder guy "the peppier," pronounced "zee peppeeyay," of course.
  3. I watched Tyler Florence cook his Ultimate Fried Chicken Saturday morning and had to try it, with a few twists of my own (which I hope makes this OK to post). I brined the chicken for about half an hour, and then dipped it in buttermilk laced with hot sauce, then coated it with seasoned flour (paprika, chili powder, cayenne powder - I left out his onion and garlic flours), then *back* into the buttermilk, and then back into the seasoned flour. Then it sat while the oil (he uses peanut, I used corn) temp came up to 375 degrees (the temp will go down to 350 once the chicken goes in) about 3 1/2 inches deep in a stock pot (yep, it's deep-fried.) The oil was flavored with aromatics (I used a cut-up onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, and a handful of rosemary). Out came the aromatics (TF garnishes the chicken platter with them, but I thought they'd given their all so I gave them a decent burial in the garbage) and the chicken went in in batches. Then it drained on a paper bag while the subsequent batches cooked up. All I had was boneless, skinless thighs, which didn't take very long (about 8 - 9 minutes a batch) and were so good and easy to eat that I think I'm going to stick to using them. Just about the only similarity to my usual method of frying chicken (which I thought was authentic, given that I am Deep-South born and raised) is the paper bag!! I used to soak the chicken overnight in the buttermilk, coat in egg and seasoned flour (one dip in each), and fry it in a cast iron skillet, turning a few times. This was way less work with *much* better results (sorry, Mom)! It was wonderful hot, and - the "ultimate" test for me - perfect this morning (yep, we had it for breakfast). Crisp crust, not at all greasy, tender, flavorful meat . . . mmmmmmm! I'm converted. Also, I guess I need that cookbook. (I had a lot of fun earlier, reading the "Tyler's Ultimate TV show" thread from '03. I think the show I watched was new - he's in that lovely green basement kitchen - no wimminfolk around at all ) Next time I'll take pictures - If I'm fast enough! K
  4. I just finished Peter Mayle's "Bon Appetit!" I know he isn't everybody's cup o' tea, but I find his writing hilarious. Next up is Betty Fussel's "My Kitchen Wars."
  5. Mamster, I've bought several for gifts at the new Fred Meyer in Ballard, and I think they're also at either Safeway or QFC. ← Special K~ You must be a fan. Tell us of your experience, please. ← I am a fan. I love this toy! I've given it to friends and family and even recommended it to perfect strangers in the store. I use it for freezing things (which works out fine except for the unfortunate incident with the flattened scones . . . ), refrigerating things (cheese, veggies - mushrooms don't get slimy! - etc.), and for bread on the counter (I learned to wrap the bread in a paper sack or paper towel first, cuz the rough bits of crust can puncture the bags). They've taken the place of my beloved green bags. DH still gets to suck the air out of the brownie baggies, though. The batteries last a long time, but when it starts not working so well it is time to replace them (I first try a new bag - yes, I do wash and reuse the old bags - and if it still doesn't work, new batteries go in). Love 'em!
  6. Mamster, I've bought several for gifts at the new Fred Meyer in Ballard, and I think they're also at either Safeway or QFC.
  7. I just found it. It's from an Alton Brown "Good Eats" episode, "Tender is the Loin II" It's just regular kosher salt, not rock salt: "Oh, and here's a little trick. I really hate having to scrub out these little grooves, so a little bit of kosher salt down in there will catch any goo that shows up down there. And it makes the pan a lot easier to clean up. And don't worry about it burning. It's a rock!" He uses a neat Staub square grill pan with low sides and a snap-on wire handle in that episode.
  8. I stopped by Lunchbox Laboratory today and I have to say it is everything I'd hoped it would be. Nice people, great service, and, oh, yeah, the best chili burger I've ever eaten!
  9. I'm sure I read somewhere recently that you can just sprinkle rock salt in the grooves BEFORE heating and using, and the cleanup will be easy (and the meat won't be salty.) Can't find it now (I thought it was Cooks Illustrated), and haven't tried it yet, but it makes sense to me that it should work. My Lodge grill pan was extra-cheap - Value Village special! The only way I'll ever get Le Creuset is if someone donates Grandma's trove to V.V. Stranger things have happened!
  10. Hey, all you Ballardites (Ballardians?) in Seattle -- Top Banana Fruits & Veg is up and running again!
  11. I just finished "Eating Heaven" by Jennie Shortridge. Heartbreaking but uplifting . . . and there are recipes! I'm buying extra copies to send to friends. Set in Portland, Oregon, so of special interest to Pacific Northwesterners, but a good read wherever you are.
  12. Good to know, Rich (and btw, great nom de Gullet!). I use a small Romertopf for my bread - now I get to try it in the big one!
  13. My answers inserted in the quotation: * * * * * You know, reading this over I realize it sounds kinda sad, so I should say that as he got older (after we all left home!), Dad got a lot more mellow. His grandkids got all kinds of good attention and love from him. He got a dog, put in a pool, learned to laugh . . . it was great! By the end, he and I were actually trading recipes. Mom still can't cook, though.
  14. Cool site! And dayum, those Stilton Dumplings look GOOD!
  15. Ooh, AmritaBala! Thanks for sharing!
  16. I'd like to know, too. The only place I can find file' around here is at Cash 'N Carry, and it's in a BIG jar. I've never made gumbo, and I'd like to try, but then what do I do with all the rest of the file'?
  17. In the last 35 years we've moved about a dozen times. Each time, the first meal in the new home was a pizza, at first take-out and then homemade. Move=pizza. Don't know why. Well, yes I do. We pizza!!
  18. Ah, "Co-Cola!" That takes me back. Thanks!
  19. My husband thought he hated tomatoes. I went out and bought a few tomato plants!
  20. Ah, thanks! (Now I feel even stupider, er, more stupid).
  21. But in the commercials, the pillows expand right back up again--how come the scones won't? Besides, think how much valuable freeze space you're saving! I'm still giggling at the mental picture of those compressed scones... ← Nooo, nooo, they don't expand right back up again! And yes, they were pretty funny looking . . . but DH didn't seem to mind (he'll eat anything, as long as it's sweet).
  22. Did that thing with the superfine-not-confectioner's sugar on Valentine's Day - 140 red velvet cupcakes with grainy icing. The kids didn't seem to mind, though (they'll eat anything, as long as it's sweet). Then I made DH a green velvet cake (because I and every other home baker in town used up all the red in their Valentine's Day confections) and used waaaay too much green food coloring (wow, a little green goes a long way!). I wanted a nice light green because it was a pistachio cake, but it turned out Brrrrright green. Oh, well, DH didn't seem to mind (he'll eat anything, as long as it's sweet). But then I topped myself last week. Made a beautiful batch of scones and decided to freeze most of them. Never again will I think it might be a good idea to seal them in a Handi-Vac baggie and not pay attention to how much air (all of it!) I'm sucking out of the darned bag!! Think 1/8 inch thick scones. I'm never gonna live this one down. I may have to turn in my apron.
  23. My late MIL used to hover, too. We have a tiny kitchen and a very small dining room area. We solved the problem by moving the table over towards the (sort of in the) living room and putting in a couple of little but comfy chairs and a small table where the dining table was, so she could sit there (just a few feet away) and chat without being in the way. We've kept this arrangement, and now all of our guests who want to "hang out in the kitchen" can do so without driving us nuts. Now I just hope the two kittens we're about to adopt will get the message! Sigh. I miss my MIL. She was the best thrift store shopping buddy ever! K
  24. There is a chef/owner of a very expensive, very nice, small restaurant here who has a reputation for his temper. Well, I know how he got that reputation, and I tell you, it isn't his fault. It was my husband's then-boss who pushed him to his limit. This man was the worst a** of all time, and especially in restaurants. I guess he was trying to impress somebody (his wife? his business guests? his employees? the chef? who knows?), but what happened instead was that his guests discovered a wonderful restaurant that they then felt they could never return to because of his behaviour. Diners at the other tables probably had their evenings ruined, as well. Every time he'd come to this restaurant, which was often, he'd include his wife and sister, and sometimes, if the rest of us were particularly unlucky, one or more of his completely obnoxious children ("My dad OWNS this company!" - Oh, really? Wonder where he got that idea? Ever heard of shareholders, kid?). True, he did spend a lot of money (shareholder's money, of course), but that seemed to make him think he owned the place. The sister liked to smoke at the table, and the CEO thought she should be able to do so - and that he and his family should be able to do just about ANYTHING they wanted to do - he really seemed to think he was in his own home, with servants to order around. The chef and his staff were unfailingly polite, and endured many of these visits with good grace, but finally, one night the chef had had enough (I think the last straw was the smoking) and ordered the CEO and his family to leave and never return (Unfortunately I wasn't there that time - but I'd bet the rest of the diners in the place cheered!). His CEO-ness then proceeded to ban all company employees from dining there, on or off the payroll, and I believe he and his lackeys are responsible for spreading the poisonous rumors about the chef's bad temper. We have eaten there a few times since (as often as we can afford it!) and the chef has been warm and friendly - even though I think he might have recognized us as having been at the same table as the CEO that first time we ventured back, to his everlasting credit he did not kick us out immediately!
  25. There's a new rival food vacuum system being advertised on TV (Food Network, I think). It's called the Vacu-Seal™ Cordless Handheld Vacuum, and it's very similar to the Handi-Vac. The bags are a little different; they have a little valve that the vacuum sort of plugs into. They're also advertised as being dishwasher safe and reusable "over and over again." At $29.99 for the kit (the vacuum, 3 quart-sized bags, and six batteries) the system is quite a bit more expensive than the Handi-Vac, but it looks like the sealing mechanism *might* be a little more reliable. That said, I found that when I changed the batteries, I no longer had the problem of the Handi-vac not starting to seal right away. I'm not planning to run out and buy the Vacu-Seal just yet. Has anyone ever seen an ad for the Handi-Vac? I know I haven't, although I am seeing it in most of the grocery stores here now. K
  • Create New...